Cleaning your dorm room or apartment is kind of like taking a shower or washing your car. You will actually feel better when it’s done. There are two types of cleaning.
- Using those wipes and mops that have cleaning products already embedded within them. (Quick and easy but inefficient. You're just pushing dirt out of the way.)
- *Mama's way* Cleaning with soap and water. (Takes just a little more time but stays clean longer and is cheaper over time.)
Here is what you need to have on hand:
Liquid floor cleaner
Cleanser (liquid or powder without bleach)
Toilet bowl cleaner
Window spray cleaner for mirrors
Rags, paper towels
Mop and bucket
*For most of you this will last at least all year, so it’s a smaller investment in the long run.
Please take the time to read instructions on the back of bottles to be sure you are using the right amounts
- Let’s start with the dirtiest part first—the toilet. All you do is spray some toilet bowl cleaner around the inside of the rim and let it do it's thing while you clean the rest of the bathroom.
- Wet a rag and add a little cleanser. Wipe your sudsy rag all over the sink, counter, faucets, outer toilet, shower and tub, and then rinse the cleanser off your rag and everything else.
- Use another cloth or paper towels to dry everything.
- Spray your mirror(s) with window cleaner (any brand) and wipe it clean with paper towels. Keep wiping till it is dry to prevent streaking.
- Afterwards, grab your toilet brush and go back to the bowl and spread the cleaner all around the toilet bowl until you’ve covered the entire area. Get under the rim and the seat, and then all the way to the exit hole.
- Finally, put some floor cleaner in a bucket of warm water. (Check the back of the bottle for amounts) With a mop or a rag go over the floor with a thin coat of soapy water. Every time your rag or map gets dirty go back to your bucket to refresh it. Squeeze out most of the water so you are not soaking the floor. No need to rinse the soap off the floor. It dries clean. Your bucket of dirty water can be dumped into the toilet and flushed along with the toilet bowl cleaner. That's all there is to it.
If you do this your bathroom will smell fresh, look great, and stay clean for at least a week!
Watch this video for help cleaning your bathroom!
Dusting requires almost no investment except for a little time.
- Wet a rag with warm water and sqeeze most of the water out of it. Wipe the dust off your furniture with the wet rag, then use another softer rag like an old t-shirt to dry it off. That’s it!
- If you have good quality furniture you will occasionally want to use a polish, but not every time you clean, because too much polish is not good for your furniture.
- If you have removable cushions or pillows on your couch take them outside and bang the dust off them once in a while and vacuum underneath them.
- Stain removers like those you use on your clothes also work on upholstery.
*Always dust before you vacuum because some of the dust from your furniture will end up on the ground.
- Turn the vacuum on and move the it back and forth in parallel lines until you cover the whole rug. Use smaller attachments for steps, baseboards and hard to reach areas.
- Check for different settings for floors and rugs.
- If it won’t pick up large things you should bend over and pick those up by hand.
- If it doesn’t seem to be picking up much of anything you probably need to remove the filter bag and replace it with a new one. Hardware stores carry replacement bags for vacuum cleaners. (Fancy vacuum cleaners may not have filter bags and for those you will have to follow manufacturer’s instructions.)
- If you have a stain on your rug don’t try to rub it out because that will only rub it in. The key to getting stains out of rugs is blotting especially if it is still moist. Using paper towels or rags push down on the stain to absorb it. Remove as much as you can this way and then use rug cleaning spray. Follow directions on the can. You usually leave it on for about five minutes and then blot it off. If you aren’t inclined to go out and buy a spray, mix a little laundry detergent with water on a rag blot the stain from the outside in to the center until you cover the whole thing. Leave it on for about five minutes. Then blot it out with another towel and rinse with seltzer or sparkling water. Blot some more. Repeat if necessary.
- Vacuum or sweep floors before washing them to remove most of the dust and large bits of moveable gunk.
- You can clean the floor using floor cleaner and water in a bucket.
- For wood floors use Murphy’s Oil Soap diluted with water.
- With a mop or a rag spread a very thin coat of soapy liquid on the floor and let it dry.
If you have a lot of marks on your wall try any of the following:
- Floor cleaner diluted with water
- Laundry or dish detergent
- Make a paste with baking soda and a little water
- A small amount of toothpaste on a rag
Recycle Your Ratty Stuff
It probably wouldn't occur to you to bring your oldest rattiest things to college but it should.
Old t-shirts, fraying towels, dish towels make great cleaning rags.
Use them to cushion some of your more fragile items when packing boxes for school.
Then when you unpack you have a stack of cleaning rags ready to tackle any job.